Thursday, December 11, 2008

Welding Copper To Steel

Can You Weld Copper To Steel? Yes!

You may know this trick or technique already. But if you don't it will open up some possibilities for you.

A regular mig welder running steel wire can weld copper sheet to mild steel very well. Copper tends to pull a lot of heat away from the weld so depending on the mig welder you have you may be limited in the thickness of copper you can weld to the steel.

In essence this is sort of brazing the two metals together since the metal holding the two is a mixture of copper and steel mig wire. This is a strong joint if your weld is clean.

Try it on a piece of scrap copper and steel. I can see the wheels start to turn!

I use this technique when I make a copper rose. The rose petals are forged out of copper (see my rose making demonstration in my past news letters) then each layer is mig welded to a steel stem.

Yes you can weld copper to copper as well. It seems the joint is not quite as strong but will work.
This technique will allow you to create a copper accent and directly weld it on to your art work.

For thicker pieces of copper I have been successful by preheating the copper in the forge then welding the hot copper to the steel. A little tricky to hold onto but it works.

I also have had no problem with corrosion through electralisis at these joints. You can grind the weld smooth and have a solid easy to join the two metals together.

David Robertson
Artist Blacksmith